Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

APIUM graveolens

Image of Apium graveolens

James H. Schutte

Family

Apiaceae

Botanical Name

APIUM graveolens

Plant Common Name

Celery

General Description

Celery is a vegetable that's taken for granted. It's cheap in the store, so most don't bother growing it, but it is an easy highly garden-worthy crop.

Grown for its yummy crisp fleshy leaf stems (petioles) and fragrant seeds, celery originates from Europe, northern Africa, India and Asia. It has been cultivated since ancient times and is a staple herb in many dishes across the world. In the United States it flavors our Thanksgiving stuffing, is the favorite compliment to buffalo wings and every good bloody Mary is seasoned with a little celery salt and a crisp stalk.

Celery has long fleshy green leaf stems topped with a compound cluster of flattened, deep green incised leaves. It is raised and harvested as an annual, but if left to its own devises it will grow as a biennial. In the second year it produces large umbrella-like clusters (umbels) of creamy white flowers that produce dry fruits filled with small fragrant seeds.

Like most vegetables celery is sun-loving but favors climates where summers are cool. Too much heat leads to bitter-tasting celery. It grows best in moist, deep, fertile, organic-rich, slightly alkaline soil. Too little water will yield dry stringy stalks. Older varieties need to be blanched, meaning soil must be burmed along the base of the plants to keep the petioles light, sweet and crisp. Newer varieties are self-blanching and most are also stringless.

Sow celery in early spring, but protect it from hard frost. It is generally ready for harvest in 85 to 120 harvest days. To harvest, cut the whole plant from the base along the soil line. Individual stalks may also be cut if you prefer to slowly harvest your celery. In climates with mild winters it can be grown as a winter vegetable.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    18"-36" / 45.7cm - 91.4cm

  • Width

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    Europe, Northern Africa, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes